Q. I’m a 20-year-old male who has been cross-dressing off and on since junior high school. With old age, I’m losing some of my femininity.
I’d like to try taking female hormones. Would this be safe? What results could I expect?
I am 5 feet 9 and weigh 110 pounds. I am in perfect health but I want to be a girl.

A. Taking estrogen can feminize appearance by increasing breast size, shrinking testicles, rounding the hips and reducing facial and body hair. There are some potential side effects, including erectile dysfunction, depression, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, gallbladder disease and blood clots.
We encourage you to seek counseling that may help you clarify your gender identity. Cross-dressing does not require hormonal treatment, but changing one’s sex calls for a great deal of psychological and medical preparation.

Join Over 53,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. Katrina
    Reply

    I would like to add to the response about potential side effects of taking estrogen. I am a woman who had a hysterectomy and was given hormones. I took them for over 20 years, then switched to bio-identical hormone therapy, since I’d finally learned of the potential side effects of the prescription hormones. I was certainly off-base! There’s no way to tell which hormone is suspect when I got breast cancer (was fortunate it was very small and caught early) BUT (here comes the big but) it was shown to be hormone related.
    My point is men can get breast cancer just like women. I would avoid the hormones, if possible. You can always get a breast augmentation, for one. I don’t know much about what you write of but understand it is not easy for you and I wish you much luck in your search to feel happy inside and out. I hope you can find a support group. Do a lot of research on the hormones. I understand you would have to take a lot. Just b/c they are hormones doesn’t mean they’re safe for everyone. And, if you smoke, taking hormones will increase your chances of a stroke.
    Good luck to you and I wish you well.

  2. Barbara H
    Reply

    Wow..if he thinks 20 years old is old age then he has more problems then just wondering what gender he wants to be.

  3. Nancy H.
    Reply

    Sorry, I can’t resist – 20 is old age? I am sure this emotional dilemma is a difficult time for you. I hope you will follow the advice and seek counseling.

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts with others, but be mindful of protecting your own and others' privacy. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from web visitors is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. In posting a comment, you agree to our commenting policy and website terms and conditions.